The biennial Paris Motor Show opens its doors to the public on 1 October, but Motoring Research will be reporting live from the press days on 29 and 30 September.
Plenty of new cars will make their debuts at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, including the Land Rover Discovery, Skoda Kodiak and LaFerrari Spider. Here’s an A-Z guide of what to expect.
The Q5 has been a great success for Audi. Indeed, even after six years on sale, it still boasts some of the strongest residual (resale) values in the second-hand market. The car pictured is the current model; no photos of the 2017 Q5 have been released yet.
Engines for the new Q5 include a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, plus 2.0 and 3.0 TDI diesels. Bahn-storming SQ5 and RS Q5 versions will follow in due course, along with an E-tron plug-in hybrid.
Citroen has finally rediscovered its joie de vivre. The new C3 supermini borrows styling cues from the C4 Cactus – including energy-absorbing Airbumps on the sides – for a bold look that’s practical and utilitarian, rather than sporty.
Inside, the C3 gets broad, comfortable seats and an interesting mix of materials (including the ‘luggage strap’ door handles from the Cactus). An optional ‘ConnectedCam’ behind the rear-view mirror records footage of your journey and could help prove your innocence after an accident.
Having launched DS as a standalone luxury brand, Citroen is referencing another of its former glories – the 1974 CX – with the CXperience concept. The large, plug-in hybrid hatchback offers clues about Citroen’s future design direction.
Centrepiece of the CXperience is undoubtedly its interior. The seats are made from memory foam and each passenger gets his/her own tablet. A single-spoke steering wheel harks back to the CX, too. Come on, Citroen – build this car!
Ferrari LaFerrari Spider
Now we’re talking. Yes, it’s basically just a LaFerrari without a roof, but when the car in question is a V12-engined, carbon-bodied, hybrid-enhanced weapon, we still count it among the highlights of Paris 2016.
We don’t know exactly how many Spiders will be built – only that the entire production run has sold out in advance. Oh, and the car may actually be called the ‘LaFerrari Aperta’, like the drop-top 458 Speciale. There’s no word from Ferrari on that yet either.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this is the new Type R; even the ‘cooking’ 2017 Honda Civic looks seriously sporty. These official photos actually show the US-spec Civic, but the European version will look very similar. Good.
The Civic will come with efficient 1.0 and 1.5 petrol engines, plus Honda’s familiar 1.6 diesel. And the Type R? That’s expected to follow in 2017.
Looking somewhat less radical is the updated Hyundai i10. The budget Korean supermini gets a larger front grille with LED daytime running lights, a new rear bumper and, er… that’s about it – on the outside at least.
The most interesting changes are inside the i10, which now offers a 7in touchscreen media system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Automatic emergency braking is available, too.
The new Hyundai i30 is a much bolder effort, with styling that offers more than a hint of ‘premium’ (spot the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series cues). Bizarre shutlines around the A-pillars aside, we rather like it. Will Volkswagen Golf owners feel the same?
Buyers can pick from three petrol engines and three diesels, with the cleanest diesel emitting just 94g/km CO2. Opt for the 8in touchscreen media system (pictured) and you’ll get wireless phone charging included.
Turning to Hyundai’s sister-brand, meet the new Kia Rio. This Fiesta-sized supermini also looks to have taken a step upmarket, with smart – if rather unadventurous – styling that reeks of Germanic solidity and sobriety.
Despite releasing these official pics, Kia is still reluctant to say much about the new Rio. Apparently the dashboard is angled towards the driver, BMW-style, which bodes well for more engaging dynamics. We’ll find out more in Paris.
Land Rover Discovery
After years of being a boxy 4×4, the Discovery has morphed into a sleek SUV. Styling that evokes the, er, Evoque shouldn’t impact too heavily on practicality: this still a seven-seater. An all-aluminium body should reduce weight and boost fuel economy.
Again, technical details on the new Discovery are sparse. A recent stunt with Bear Grylls showcased the car’s clever seats, which can be folded remotely using a smartphone app. Off-road ability should remain best-in-class.
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT roadster
We don’t have pictures of the convertible AMG GT yet, so you’ll have to make do with the coupe. But just look at it. An open version of Mercedes’ flagship sports car can’t fail to stop traffic.
The AMG GT will be available with a 462hp twin-turbo V8, stoked to 510hp in the GT S. Will we see a drop-top version of the 585hp GT R, which was revealed at Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer? Let’s hope so.
Mitsubishi Ground Tourer
This teaser shot shows Mitsubishi’s Ground Tourer concept, which will be revealed in full at Paris. Its sleek styling gives clues about the next Outlander SUV. Mitsubishi calls its new design language ‘Dynamic Shield’.
The current Outlander PHEV has been a sales hit for Mitsubishi, largely thanks to its low tax liability. The Ground Tourer will follow the same plug-in hybrid template, albeit with improved efficiency and performance.
Does thinking about the Nissan Micra send you to sleep? Time to wake up. The Sway concept, seen here, points to how the new, more sophisticated Micra – due to be revealed at Paris – will look.
With a huge number of rivals, including the Fabia, Fiesta, Jazz, Rio and Polo, the new Micra certainly needs to up its game. We’ll give you our first impressions from the show floor at Porte de Versailles.
The Peugeot 3008 has transformed from ugly MPV into, well, slightly-more-handsome SUV. Because nobody buys MPVs anymore, right? Just don’t tell Renault that.
Sales start in November and engines will include Peugeot’s thrifty 1.2-litre PureTech petrols and BlueHDi diesels. A five-setting traction control system should give the 3008 a modicum of off-road ability. There won’t be a four-wheel-drive version at launch, however.
Big brother to the 3008 is the seven-seat Peugeot 5008. It looks slightly blander and boxier than the smaller car, but is still a vast improvement on the outgoing 5008.
A big car doesn’t necessarily need a big steering wheel; Peugeot is clear on that. The 5008 seen here has the optional i-Cockpit virtual display in place of conventional dials. There’s also an 8in touchscreen atop the centre console.
Here’s another car that started life as an ugly duckling but is now passably handsome. The latest Porsche Panamera still seats four and still looks a bit like a 911 (if you squint). However, it’s now a lot sleeker, lighter and, of course, faster.
Like, how fast exactly? Try a Nurburgring lap time of 7min 38sec for the Panamera Turbo – as quick as a 997 GT3. There will also be diesel and petrol/electric hybrid versions, along with a new eight-speed PDK auto ’box.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
This one isn’t confirmed, but there are strong rumours Porsche will show a coupe or shooting brake (estate) version of the Panamera in Paris. Let’s hope for the latter – and that it looks exactly like this Sport Turismo concept, seen at Paris in 2012.
The Sport Turismo concept had a hybrid powertrain, but a production version would share engines with the regular Panamera. This could be the ultimate dog-carrier – and so much cooler than a BMW X6.
If the Alaskan looks slightly familiar, that’s because it’s based on the Nissan Navara. Renault’s first pick-up will come in a variety of configurations, including the five-seat double cab seen here.
The Alaskan is quite capable of hard work: four-wheel drive and a 3.5-tonne towing weight see to that. However, it’s not devoid of luxuries either. A touchscreen media system, Bluetooth and surround-view parking cameras are all available.
Has there been a more anticipated ‘mainstream’ car in 2016? Skoda’s seven-seat SUV looks like an oversized Yeti (the car, not the monster) and should offer good value for money. Fingers crossed it’s fun to drive like the Yeti, too.
Just look at that interior: Skoda’s leaving its budget-brand roots further and further behind. Automatic emergency braking and Trailer Assist (for reversing with a trailer) are standard, while adaptive cruise control and a 10-speaker audio system are on the options list.
Once a typical supermini, the Suzuki Ignis has also fallen victim to the crossover craze. This latest version (seen here in concept form at the Tokyo Auto Salon) will take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3.
The Ignis features Suzuki’s SHVS ‘mild hybrid’ system, which stores energy from decelerating and braking, then uses it to boost power when accelerating. We’ll find out more about the new Ignis in Paris.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
Suzuki has taken a knife to its SX4 S-Cross, and the results are… controversial. Grafting a grand-looking chrome grille onto an otherwise-humble hatchback is a trick as old as the Austin Allegro Vanden Plas. And usually just as successful.
Here’s the old SX4 S-Cross for comparison. Yep, definitely better looking. At least the latest model benefits from Suzuki’s excellent new Boosterjet petrol engines, in 1.0- and 1.4-litre sizes.
Vauxhall must long for the old days, when a Cavalier could be spotted on every suburban street. Nowadays, the Insignia only really sells to fleet buyers, but it’s still a popular company car. This is the current version, as no photos of the 2017 Insignia have so far been released.
The next Insignia won’t rip-up the rulebook, although it should be lighter, more efficient and more spacious inside. Will that make anybody want to spend their own money on one? Not unless it looks like the Opel GT concept from earlier this year, no.